Do's and Dont's of Cellphones at Concerts

Let's make the call.

We as a race must decide on a verdict for using cellphones at concerts. Enough is enough!

artists and fans want the phones away during shows - but is it a battle already lost?

artists and fans want the phones away during shows - but is it a battle already lost?

For validity purposes, it’s important I premise this post with two facts:

  1. I used my phone at the Queens of the Stone Age concert last month.
  2. Currently performing breathing exercises to suppress inner rage at my hypocrisy.
Marketing Do's And Don'ts Infographic.jpg

 Royal Blood opened for QOSTA that night at The Amp in Toronto (Budweiser Stage, whatever). While my vision was constantly impaired in ten-second intervals by an iPhone (an iPhone plus - obviously), I could see that stupid and annoying white ghost surrounded by yellow conquer her screen.

At the end of the third song, the girl behind me demanded in an obscenity-filled yet polite phrase that the phone is put away. The girl in front of me apologized and continued filming the entire performance without impeding any concert-goers’ vision but her own. This is okay, right? If she's not putting the phone in front of our faces anymore, then who cares?

I noticed people pointing at her and rolling their eyes. Why do they care if the girl in front wants to post a video of a song she’s never heard to Instagram? She must reinforce her life’s importance via likes and comments. These people were allowing this woman’s phone to ruin a part of their concert experience.

Let's be honest - I was still pissed too. Unfortunately, i was angry when the phone wasn’t impeding my vision in the same way i was when it had blocked my view. The anger now was for no reason other than that I know people who couldn’t get a ticket that would have started drooling for Royal Blood live. I understand the desire to record the show and relive the experience in the future, but by doing so you miss the entire experience in the first place.

But this didn’t matter at the time, and it won't matter in the future; other people’s cell phones shouldn’t ruin the live experience of music.

Artists positions on cellphones are clear. Jack White says he plays off the energy of the crowd and asked fans to keep their phones in their pocket. Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkey’s has stated he has no clue why people have their phones out in the first place. Even though we’re used to front man Morrisey amusing us with comments, here’s The Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr’s statement on cellphone users from NME in 2013.

Let’s just make a diplomatic call. The area is fuzzy, and while we like fuzz at O2O, we do not like an argument. Therefore, we developed an etiquette guide of do's and do not's for mobile device use at concerts.




Mike is a University of Ottawa honours graduate with an English background. Currently a student in the Professional Writing program at Algonquin College, he also writes for Breaking the Trend and Spotlight Ottawa. Mike strives to increase the publicity of the Ottawa music scene – which he is a part of through his band, Lost Acres.

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